England's Kelly Smith devastated by US league cancellation
England striker Kelly Smith says she is "devastated" after learning the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer League in the United States has been cancelled.
Smith, 33, is one of five British players who are now without a club in a year that features Euro 2013 qualification and the Olympics.
"It was a total shock to receive the email from the league," said Smith, who is England's all-time leading scorer.
"It's a big year for women's football with the Euros and Olympics."
ANOTHER ENGLAND STAR'S VIEW
Eni Aluko England forward with 58 caps, played in WPS for Sky Blue FC (based in New Jersey) in 2011
“WPS ends and then you get the opportunistic vultures that exist in both sides of the game who try and fling you an awful deal. Spare me. Then you get the people who never wanted WPS to succeed in the first place extending their 'condolences'. My experience in WPS was fantastic. I made some lifelong friends, played with the world's best and became the player I am today. Being the glass half-full person I am, I'm sure women's football will continue to inspire many people around the world.”
Alex Scott, who is a team-mate of Smith's at Boston, and Sky Blue FC duo Anita Asante and Karen Bardsley are also searching for new clubs following the decision, which was taken as a result of an ongoing legal dispute with a former club owner.
Scotland defender Ifeoma Dieke, currently on loan in Sweden and highly likely to make the Great Britain Olympic squad, is also signed to Boston.
A fifth England player, Eni Aluko, had already decided to leave the US and return to England to play for Birmingham City in the Women's Super League, which she feels is more stable.
It is the second time Smith has been left without a club in America after the previous professional league failed in 2003 while she was with Philadelphia Charge.
"I've been shaking my head thinking I can't believe this has happened again," she told BBC Sport.
"If a professional women's league was going to happen anywhere it's the US but that seems to have failed, so maybe that's not the way forward.
"They play semi-pro in Sweden, Germany and England."
SMITH'S ENGLAND STATS
- Appearances: 109
- Won: 55
- Drawn: 22
- Lost: 32
- Goals: 43
- Debut: v Italy 01/01/1995
Smith is hopeful of landing a deal elsewhere though.
"I've already had phone calls [with offers]," she revealed. "It's about playing regularly ahead of the Olympics and Euros. I'll sit down and sort the best option.
"The deal has to be right and to be playing regular football in order to get yourself seen for England and also for the Great Britain team."
League chief Jennifer O'Sullivan said: "Making the decision to suspend the 2012 season was a difficult and painful one, but it is necessary to take the time to address current issues and solidify our business."
The league, which features five teams - Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash - plans to return for the 2013 season.